Epic: Cloud’s Battle

Epic: Very great or large and usually difficult or impressive.

The word, epic, truly defines the series of events on Sunday, May 4, 2014.  One of the goals of the PryorWild blog is to capture the historical events of the Wild Horse Range. This is one such event.

Upon arriving at Chino’s Corner. Horses were visible to the east of the water guzzler, grazing on the side of the hill. It’s not hard to identify a band with the easy visibility of Cloud and Nimbus’ light coloration. A dark horse was standing guard just to the west of Cloud’s band. Drawing closer, Cappuccino’s band appeared north of Cloud’s band.

Cappuccino and band

Cappuccino and band

The dark horse and Cappuccino called out and walked towards each other. At this point it became clear that the dark horse was Doc. There was no sign of Demure.

Cappuccino walks towards Doc

Cappuccino walks towards Doc

Doc walks towards Cappuccino

Doc walks towards Cappuccino

The meeting between the two stallions was brief.  There was more noise than action.

A brief scuffle

A brief scuffle

The face off

Followed by a face off

The two parted.

Doc departs.

Doc departs.

Doc trotted around the bottom of the hill coming closer to Cloud. As Cloud gave chase, Doc ran away and circled back up the hill. He did not seem eager to confront Cloud.

Cloud keeps Doc away.

Cloud keeps Doc away.

Cloud returns to his band.

Cloud returns to his band.

Cappuccino continued to hang near Cloud’s band. Mica came down to check him out. There was no aggression on Caps part. Mica showed his respect with the teeth clattering of the young.

Cappuccino and Mica, Cloud and Feldspar's 2-year old colt.

Cappuccino and Mica, Cloud and Feldspar’s 2-year old colt.

The two remained together for a period of time until Doc drifted back down for another round of squealing and kicking.

Cappuccino and Doc again...

Cappuccino and Doc again…

Jackson’s band grazed a short distance away. What a large band! Upon hearing the stallion sounds below him, Jackson trotted out. He stopped, took a look, and then returned to his band and their quiet grazing.

Jackson

Jackson

Cloud’s band had all moved to the top of the hill. Doc was standing to the west. Cappuccino moved up the hill to the east. He and Mica resumed a brief greeting.

Cloud's band in the center. Cappuccino to the left. Doc (not visible) just to the right.

Cloud’s band in the center. Cappuccino to the left. Doc (not visible) just to the right.

Cloud sensed the pressure on both sides of him. He quickly moved toward Doc. Both stallions headed down the rocky hill. And in an instant they engaged in a battle. It wasn’t the rearing up kind of battle. It was intense; down and low.

Doc heads down the hill with Cloud in pursuit.

Doc heads down the hill with Cloud in pursuit.

Meanwhile, Cappuccino seized the opportunity and circled around the band of mares Innocentes and Feldspar and Feldspar’s young, Mica and Nimbus.

Cappuccino comes around the band.

Cappuccino looks as if he might join in the fight.

Cappuccino comes around the band.

Cappuccino comes around the band.

Cap heads the band up over the hill and out of sight.

Cap heads the band up over the hill and out of sight.

Cloud and Doc continued their battle. This was most definitely a battle of epic proportions. Pictures show the action better than words.

IMG_8376 Attack 1

IMG_8385 Attack 2

IMG_8388 Attack 3

It was only halted when Cappuccino came back over the hill.

Cappuccino came back over the hill.

Cappuccino came back over the hill.

At that point, Doc went back up the hill with a limping Cloud in pursuit. Cloud held his left hind leg off the ground as he ran back up the hill.

The battle breaks up.

The battle breaks up.

Cloud and Doc run up the hill.

Cloud and Doc run up the hill.

Doc went immediately for Cappuccino. The two young stallions engaged in some aggressive action.

Doc and Cappuccino

Doc and Cappuccino

More intensity.

More intensity.

Doc ended the action and moved in the direction of Cloud’s band. Cloud and Cappuccino then had a brief altercation which ended when Cloud became aware of Doc’s advancement on the band. Cappuccino ran off towards his band.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino

Cloud goes after Cappuccino.

Cloud goes after Cappuccino.

Looks like there might be more action.

Looks like there might be more action.

Cloud notices Doc with the band.

Cloud notices Doc with the band.

Cloud runs to the rescue.

Cloud runs to the rescue.

It didn’t take long for Cloud to re-appear with his band. Doc was back to his place of just circling and watching Cloud and his band. And that’s how the afternoon ended. Cloud had managed to hold onto his band one more day.

Doc with Cloud and Nimbus.

Doc with Cloud and Nimbus.

Watching today’s events was emotional. Cloud’s powerful presence on the mountain has been impressive throughout the years. This year he has a new fragility to him.  As Joy Vancos said of this event, “This is an integral part of wild horse life on the range.”  One day the outcome will be different for Cloud.  But we can’t be sad for Cloud. He’s led the perfect Pryor life: a life of freedom in his Pryor Mountain home.

 

Published in: on May 7, 2014 at 10:15 pm  Comments (18)